Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cape May Gold

Also flower in Cape May were the wonderful Maryland Golden Asters, Chrysopsis mariana. They grow in nutrient depleted, salt rich, sand, which not many other plants can tolerate. 

They grow all year long as a green, simple looking sort of weed, until finally they seem to push all their energy into the flowers which continue to bloom and seed well after the rest of the plant looks to be dead or dying. There's a patch of these at the Mt. Cuba Center, which is much larger now than what's pictured their website, still looks to be green and growing when in flower. I'm not sure if they did something special to the soil but they looked to be healthier when grown in rich meadow soil. Though I know for some plants they will add sand so it's better able to survive the winter. I don't believe this is where Maryland Golden Aster would naturally be found in nature. They would likely get out competed by other plants.

Also flowering were several different types of Goldenrod. Seaside Goldenrod is usually the showiest but the leaves on this one caught my eye this year. I'm at a loss to say what species this is, either Solidago tenuifolia or Solidago graminifolia, leaning toward the former. Growing in the bog where the soil is rich with sand and salt, however these conditions might make them look different than specamins growing in clay and without the added salinity. 

Naturally the Bees enjoy this plant.